“A Prostitution Alike of Matter and Spirit”: Anti-War Discourses in Children’s Literature and Childhood Culture Before and During World War I
- Kimberley Reynolds
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Histories of the First World War have regularly implicated children’s literature in boys’ eagerness to enlist in the first two years of that conflict. While undoubtedly the majority of children’s books, comics and magazines did espouse nationalistic, jingoistic and martial attitudes, there were alternative stories and environments. Looking at the publications, organisations and educational establishments that opposed the war and resisted the Germanophobia that began to dominate public discourse at the start of the twentieth century casts new light on some of the challenges and dilemmas facing a proportion of boys as they decided whether or not to join up. Additionally, the fact that there were alternative discourses is a reminder that not all readers would have responded in the same way to the same texts. Three areas are considered: children’s stories and pamphlets produced by Quakers and peace societies; left-wing publications, especially those associated with Socialist Sunday Schools; and two of the first progressive schools in Britain.
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- “A Prostitution Alike of Matter and Spirit”: Anti-War Discourses in Children’s Literature and Childhood Culture Before and During World War I
Children's Literature in Education
Volume 44, Issue 2 , pp 120-139
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Peace societies
- Progressive schools
- Socialist Sunday Schools
- Conscientious Objectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK